Addressing issues related to content, user interface, and payment options, the partnership will grant greater access to the Netflix streaming service for Russian viewership.
Partnering with Russia’s National Media Group (NMG), Netflix will now localize its services to Russian viewership in the effort to expand access to the streaming service. Though the international version has been available in Russia since 2015, the partnership will bring significant updates to both the content and services starting from Mid-October.
One important change will be in the payment options. Available only to payments in Euros previously, Netflix will now allow viewers to pay in local currency, including payment options in rubles. With the collaboration, the company also has plans to increase the number of local Russian films, as well as to make updates to the user interface to better serve Russian viewership, including offering full access to Russian subtitles and dubbing. The films and services will be available to subscribers globally, as well.
“NMG confirms partnership with Netflix. According to the agreement between the two parties, NMG will act as the Netflix services operator in Russia,” said NMG CEO Olga Paskina. “We are currently working on full localization of the streaming service, which will enable us to provide Netflix’s services and content in Russian. This deal is in line with NMG’s strategy to achieve leading positions in digital and content media segments in Russia.”
Accounting for around 25% of Russia’s TV market, NMG will become the primary operator of the streaming service in Russia. The partnership is expected to comply with the Russian media legislation, which stipulates that foreign entities can only hold 20% of a company. Although the partnership will open new avenues for content, NMG will not be responsible for creating any additional content.
“Netflix is available in over 30 languages around the world,” said a Netflix spokesperson in a statement to Broadband TV News. “Almost five years after launching our English language service in Russia, we’re excited to provide a fully Russian service for our members in partnership with NMG.”